Top cop’s car torched during Alei Ayin outpost evacuation

7 policemen, 5 civilians wounded, 3 arrested during evacuation, demolition of outpost near Shiloh in the West Bank.

alei ayin 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
alei ayin 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Judea and Samaria police warned on Thursday that settlement activists “crossed all lines” when they torched the car of the Binyamin district commander while his officers destroyed a small outpost.
As the commander was busy overseeing the demolition of the Alei Ayin outpost near Shiloh in the West Bank, activists threw a gasoline bomb at his vehicle, which was parked on the side of the road.
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Police arrested five male suspects between the ages of 18 and 21 in connection with the car torching and vowed to deal with them with “the utmost severity.” All five were to be taken for a remand hearing on Friday morning.
Among them was a reporter for Hakol Hayehudi (The Jewish Voice) news website who had photographed the evacuation and who had told his editor that he had captured on film incidents in which the police had acted illegally by throwing stones at the activists and injuring them.
Settlers charged that the reporter had been arrested because of the photographs he had taken, and not because he had participated in any violence.
During the evacuation, which lasted four hours, seven policemen and five civilians were lightly wounded. Police arrested three activists during the evacuation – a girl, a 16-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man.
The girl was still being held for questioning on Thursday evening and the two men were taken for a remand hearing.
Later in the day, police evacuated a second small outpost in the Binyamin region called Ga’on Hayarden, without the same level of violence that had occurred at Alei Ayin.
Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, condemned the activists who torched the car and the police for their behavior at the outpost. Of the activists, he said, “It is completely unacceptable behavior. I hope the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
But Dayan added, “I also think that the use of force by the police in situations like this is, in many cases, excessive and unnecessary.”
Settlers said they had been alerted to the police arrival at Alei Ayin around 2 a.m. More than 100 activists raced to the scene to try and prevent the destruction of Alei Ayin. Many used their cars to block the officers’ path.
Police said that by the time they arrived, the roads were blocked by many cars, and that they were soon faced by youths who threw a “massive” amount of stones at them and accompanying soldiers.
But settlers and activists said that it was police who had thrown stones and stun grenades at them. They sent photographs of the stun grenades to the media as well as video clips of bulldozers taking down a few flimsy structures.
Alei Ayin was home to a young couple – a man and his pregnant wife who have been married for five months – and a number of single adults who were running it as a small farm with horses and chickens.
A video posted on YouTube, with evocative music and scenic shots of the outpost before and after its destruction, spoke of the event as a pogrom.